Indian tattoos - traces of the divine

MUMBAI — Girish Giridhara's arms are tattooed with Hindu gods, goddesses and sacred mantras. The spiritual designs are intricate but also hardly surprising for a man who once trained to be a priest.

Shaven-headed, with gold earrings and a red tilak on his forehead, the 36-year-old tattoo artist looks relaxed in a sleeveless t-shirt, knee-length shorts and flip-flops at the Indian Ink tattoo convention.

The exhibition in Mumbai this weekend is billed as India's first, with organisers hoping to tap into a growing interest in permanent body art among young Indians.

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